Effects of bacterial endotoxin on protecting copper-deficient rats from hyperoxia

T. H. Spence, S. G. Jenkinson, K. H. Johnson, J. F. Collins, R. A. Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The administration of very low doses of bacterial endotoxin protects rats during exposure to hyperoxia and is associated with the induction of lung antioxidant enzyme activities. Copper-deficient rats have increased susceptibility to O2 toxicity, which may be related to their decreased lung superoxide dismutase activity (SOD) or decreased plasma ceruloplasmin concentrations. To determine whether endotoxin can protect against hyperoxia in this susceptible model, we exposed copper-deficient and control rats to a fractional inspiratory concentration of O2 >0.95 for 96 h after pretreatment with 500 μg/kg of bacterial endotoxin or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Mortality in the copper-deficient and control rats given PBS and exposed to O2 for 96 h was 100%. Copper-deficient rats died significantly earlier during the exposure than controls. No mortality occurred in either group treated with endotoxin and hyperoxia despite the decreased activity of copper-dependent enzymes in the copper-deficient rats. Copper-deficient rats treated with endotoxin and exposed to hyperoxia did increase lung Cu-Zn-SOD activity, but activity remained below levels found in air-exposed controls. Mn-SOD activity was found to be induced above air-exposed controls in the copper-deficient rats treated with endotoxin and exposed to hyperoxia. Hyperoxic exposure resulted in a marked increase in plasma ceruloplasmin concentrations in the control rats, but no increases in ceruloplasmin occurred in the copper-deficient animals. Endotoxin protects copper-deficient rats from hyperoxia despite their decreased lung Cu-Zn-SOD activity, and decreased plasma ceruloplasmin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)982-987
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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